Those who are worried about children being radicalised by the influence of extremist views can now call the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) for advice.
The charity has launched a new, free, 24-hour helpline service, which people can contact if they are concerned a child is at risk of radicalisation.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless stated: “The fact that a young person might hold extreme or radical views is not a safeguarding issue in itself. But when young people are groomed for extremist purposes and encouraged to commit acts that could hurt themselves or others, then it becomes abuse.
“That?s why we?ve trained our helpline practitioners to cope with this fresh danger to young people.?
While radicalisation can be difficult to spot, the NSPCC has highlighted a number of indicators that may suggest a child is at risk. These include becoming isolated from family and friends, talking as if from a scripted speech, an increase in anger and becoming disrespectful and asking inappropriate questions.
The charity also said that children who have low self-esteem, are members of a gang or a victim of bullying may be more vulnerable to radicalisation. People with radical views can take advantage of these vulnerabilities by convincing children they can help them to become ‘something special’ and begin isolating them from their family and friends, the NSPCC warned.
According to BCC research, 17 Britons aged between 15 and 20 have been killed after leaving the UK to fight for jihadist organisations in Syria and Iraq. Overall, at least 800 people are reported to have left the country to join such groups, with around half having returned.